* Posts by ThatOne

3237 posts • joined 9 Oct 2017

Mozilla drags Microsoft, Google, Apple for obliterating any form of browser choice

ThatOne Silver badge
Alert

Re: Not seeing it

> make an informed choice

Sure, but never forget that's for the IT crowd. Normal people (99.9% of the users) not only lack the "informed" part, but also don't really care. Their priorities are elsewhere, for them a browser is just an appliance, a tool: You find one which seems to do the job and that's that.

ThatOne Silver badge

> That doesn't explain Chrome's dominance on the Desktop.

People really have short memories... There was a time a decade ago when every time you installed something on Windows, the installer silently also installed Chrome. Most prominent example were Adobe Flash/Acrobat updates: There was a tiny hidden link allowing you to bypass the Chrome installation, else it would install, hijack your browser settings, and declare itself as the default browser. Next time you would want to use Internet you would be using Chrome, and normal (ie. non-IT) people never noticed the subtle differences in GUI.

That's how the vast majority of people, who surprisingly are not computer-savvy, at all, managed to get on Chrome. The rest (especially among the younger ones) came to Chrome because at the time Google was still cool, and using its products made you cool too. Apparently.

Chrome, with all the wealth and power of Google behind it, quickly steamrolled the browser market and got to the point where Chrome = Internet, much like Google = Websearch. Whatever you think of Mozilla as a browser (and at this point it's a religious, not a technical question), it's true that not having the backing of a billion-dollar company they are the total underdog. The writing was on the wall when Microsoft yielded to Google and Windows got under the rule of another Chromewraith. It's "one browser to rule them all" (web commerce sites, that is).

Admins run into Group Policy problems after Win10 update

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Apparently not just GPOs and shortcuts in a Domain

> It would be really nice if Microsoft would spend some of their billions to actually, properly QC this trash OS

Seriously, why would they do such a stupid thing? Does it harm their bottom line? No. Does it improve profits? Yes.

Letter to FCC: Why are US carriers locking handsets to networks?

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Waiting period...

> this is a direct result of the size of the company

Definitely. Loss of any connection with reality and utter arrogance, combined with the inefficiency of ponderous bureaucratic structures. Typical of big mono/oligopolistic markets worldwide.

GPT-3 'prompt injection' attack causes bad bot manners

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: compatibility

> you get some windows update that changes the kernel too much and bam! your games don't work

Added bonus. You're supposed to buy the next game, not play the one you've already paid for.

Can reflections in eyeglasses actually leak info from Zoom calls? Here's a study into it

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

There was a necktie for second place.

Chinese researchers make car glide 35mm above ground in maglev test

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: 2.8 tonne - of magnets?

No, I think that's everywhere, since most models are sold worldwide.

As "Gotno iShit Wantno iShit" said, modern cars are heavy, much heavier than the older ones. I don't know why, but each of my successive cars over the years has always been half a ton heavier than the one it replaced.

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: 2.8 tonne - of magnets?

> For a 2.8 tonne car I was expecting some sort of presidential limo!

2800 kg is quite normal for a bigger family car. Its pretty much the mass of my (smallish) SUV, IIRC.

You're right about the space problems though, this should take quite some user space, especially given the car is already carrying its own batteries and there is no free unused space left.

Also make sure you carry no spinning rust hard drives! I don't think the magnetic field will be strong enough to do physical damage, but stuff you carry might indeed be "adversely affected".

ThatOne Silver badge

> Maglev can be very efficient because you have much less wear and tear.

Still, wear and tear isn't the biggest expenditure on my car, even at it's ripe age of 15 years. It's not even in the top 5.

The problem with laying tracks under every road (or even just highways) is that it requires a truly colossal investment, something no nation could afford. And if you add the maglev parts to a standard car's price it becomes prohibitively priced. Not to mention much less attractive to use than a normal one, due to the additional space occupied and the strong magnets' effects on the passengers' belongings...

It's a lose-lose situation, the institutions managing the infrastructure lose, the end users lose, and inordinate amounts of energy are wasted just so a handful of wealthy technology fans can die in very spectacular accidents due to a light breeze...

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Bumby rides ahead

Not surprising, if you remove all friction your car will indeed be pushed around by the slightest breeze! And there is little you can do about it besides putting said car on a rail, turning it into a train...

Without this it's like driving on exceptionally slippery ice, and while you can go quite fast with little energy consumption, you'll probably need a huge distance to slow down and turn. Not what one usually needs when driving in the streets... Which is why maglev is fine for trains, which are in total control of their environment and trajectory, but can't possibly work for cars which need to improvise a lot.

Also think about the investment/energy required to lay tracks on all (or even just the main) roads. Even if you only equip long distance highways (where it would make a little more sense), it would cost billions, and few would ever use it given the price premium of a maglev-capable car.

Microsoft fixes Windows security hole likely widely exploited by miscreants

ThatOne Silver badge
FAIL

Preposterous

> we'd suggest patching your Android device OS ASAP

Seriously? As if users had any say in it!...

You're entirely dependent on the phone's manufacturer who can chose if, when and what will be patched, all while trying to convince you to rather buy the latest model.

The Android patching system is abysmal. Project Treble (2017...) had sparked some hope that the problem would eventually be fixed, but there are clearly vested interests in making sure your phone won't be upgraded too much, how else would they force you to buy a new one every couple years.

To preserve Earth's treasures, digital silence is golden

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

> because statistically it includes idiots

Not necessary: It's the sheer quantity which creates the problem. Imagine a pretty tropical beach, a dozen people, all is fine. Same beach, 2000 people, it's hell on earth. Throw one used paper towel into the countryside, it will disintegrate well before anyone spots it, throw 2000 paper towels and you've got a dump.

Which actually means that true beauty needs to be reserved for a select privileged few, because else it simply ceases to be beautiful. Sad, isn't it...

Windows 11 update blocking some users from logging in

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Relevant

FTR: I checked and what I actually have is the release version of Win11, 21H2.

The 22H2 version of Win11 is still a "Beta Channel / Release Preview Channel" version, and not yet released to the general public. (Including me. Sorry, the release version is buggy enough for me.)

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Relevant

> Perhaps your laptop was older stock

If you are talking to me, no, it's an July 2022 model, cutting edge hardware, although I obviously don't know if the Windows image Dell used is standard or somehow tweaked. All I know is it claims to be 22H2, and despite me expecting to have to fight the online registration, it politely offered a "local account" choice. *shrug*

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Relevant

> in early 2009, back when I was the "lucky" owner of an early Seagate 7200.11

That was an exception, one model among several dozen others which worked just fine without any updates. Nowadays that exception has become the rule, and you'd better keep updating your SSD's firmware lest your precious data disappears.

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Relevant

> My Dell laptops have run Mint for years without these problems.

Yes, as did my old Toshiba, and for 15 years too. But you missed my point, old hardware didn't need all those constant updates, usually because it was past the "alpha" testing stage when you bought it.

There has always been a difference between using older or cutting edge hardware, but as I said, nowadays hardware has changed: Much like software it is released ASAP, in a buggy state, and successive firmware patches are supposed to iron out the worst bugs.

My new laptop had 2 BIOS updates in as many months and one SSD driver update. And there are clearly a bunch of them still coming, as many things still don't always work as expected. Obviously I could forfeit the fixes and keep it indefinitely in it's current buggy state, but I'd rather not, it's my work computer. YMMV.

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: There are really an awful lot of things to complain about, but this isn't one of them

> Arguably the thing to complain about is that none of this is officially documented.

Apparently nothing is documented, and it seems things change so quickly that even Microsoft themselves (their famous "Knowledge Base") don't know where things went. Nothing I found in the "Knowledge Base" fits in any way what I actually see on my laptop. Menus are different or even totally missing, files are not there where Microsoft says they should be, commands don't do what Microsoft pretends they should, it's utter chaos.

In my brief stint on Win11 as a tourist (last Windows I used was Win7) I was appalled by the sloppiness and the lack of serious of 2022 Microsoft. I'm honestly surprised there aren't more/bigger bugs each time they release some random and untested piece of code in the hope it might fix some previous blunder. I'm really happy I don't have to use Windows for my daily work!

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Relevant

> erasing it all and sticking a decent distro on the machine (emphasis mine)

Would be the best way to brick your laptop... I do use Linux, but I had to keep the original Windows on a drastically shrunken partition, because without it no updates for the BIOS or the SSDs, and even worse, no thermal management, which means that each time the computer decides to turn into a hotplate (every couple days) you have to go back to Windows and start the Dell-supplied monstrosity application, which reinitializes the thermal management and deigns to fire up the two tiny, tiny fans at last.

My point is, as hardware gets more involved and thus comes with some kind of companion/helper app, Windows can't be totally ignored. Who would had imagined 10 years ago that one day hard drives would need a TSR app looking after them and updating them... And hell will be frozen solid the day all those apps will get Linux equivalents, so unless your hardware is way too old for updates, you'll need to keep a little Windows around for a monthly maintenance session.

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Relevant

> Windows 11 version 22H2 does not allow you to skip this anymore to create a local account.

Well, in my own experience, having bought a new laptop with Win11 Home on it, it indeed required a working network connection for setup, but it allowed me right from the start to make an old-fashioned local account (all while stressing that an online Microsoft one would be better, shinier, cooler). I didn't had to fight it or make any magic incantations, I was simply given the choice during the initial setup.

There are really an awful lot of things to complain about, but this isn't one of them. I was never forced to make a Microsoft account on the Dell-supplied Win11 Home. Just for the record.

Boffins build microphone safety kit to detect eavesdroppers

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: If there's a hardware switch, where's the problem ?

> Don't install a Mic or camera in the laptop.

That would be perfect, but it is simply impossible in this period where virtual meetings have become so fancy you absolutely need to have them. Marketing will tell you people only buy their computer for Teams/Zoom/Whatever.

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: If there's a hardware switch, where's the problem ?

> If you have a hardware switch

A hardware switch??? In each laptop? Do you want their families to starve?...

US warns cryptominers must cut power use to avoid busting US carbon goals

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Comparing wax apples with silk poppies

> The People can't be trusted

While this tends to be true, the conclusion is the dis-enfranchisement of people, which means they become cattle in the hands of a happy minority. Minority which will act just as selfishly and stupidly as the masses since they are "people" too. Aren't they...

Now they may pretend to be "better" and "more something or other", but they are just self-righteous entitled jerks clawing for more power and wealth at the expense of everyone else. Fine if you're one of them, definitely bad if you're among the masses they try to subdue, rob and control.

The real question is, do you want a lot of idiots with limited powers, or a few idiots with absolute power? I'll take the former any day, we all know what the latter will do. History is free to browse and learn from.

ThatOne Silver badge
Stop

Re: Comparing wax apples with silk poppies

> one concerned with what's best for The People, rather than selling to the highest bidder

You still believe in Santa, don't you.

Or you have more dark intentions, for "groups with strong will who will save people from themselves" usually spell "ruthless bullies with a 100% egoistic agenda": Remember, the Inquisition tried to save people from themselves, as have done, and still do, all dictators throughout the ages.

To cut this short, I do not welcome our new god-like overlords choosing what they think would be best for me. I'd rather stick with our current shitty politicians-for-vote, which can at least be gotten rid of when they overdo it. If I start longing for a shitty all-knowing dictator-for-life I'll emigrate to North Korea.

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Comparing wax apples with silk poppies

> authorised as appropriate by a higher minded authority

An worldwide energy cartel you mean?...

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: those willing to front a larger investment get a larger say in the system.

> Isn't that the exact antithesis of what "cryptocurrency" is supposed to be about?

Cryptocurrency is just about making money without working. Kind of letting your computer go to work for you. That's all there is*.

So yes, much like in all possible ways money could be made throughout the ages, having money facilitates making money. I don't see why cryptocurrencies should be any different.

* The whole "freedom" and "privacy" claim is just a scam. Cryptocurrencies aren't any of that, and certainly more traceable than the quaint old-fashioned coins: Nobody could trace a coin, a medieval pouch of gold coins was universal, stable and totally untraceable...

Draft EU AI Act regulations could have a chilling effect on open source software

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Sentience of AI

> what if it's sentient but merely hard of hearing?

What if it's sentient but not really interested in what you have to say?...

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Job opportunities!

> there are processes in place to make sure the employee is producing valid work up to spec

You mean bug-free? Come on, they don't bother to do this for simple conditional software, there is no chance they'll spend the money to test fuzzy AI stuff beyond the basic "seems to work as expected" part. Lawsuits are just a possibility (and covered by insurance), while testing expenses are a certainty.

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Job opportunities!

> Supercomposite told El Reg random images of AI-generated people can often show up in negative prompts

And that, mark my words, was the birth of the profession of "AI shrink"!

"Let me explore the subconscious of your AI model: Does your AI dream of electric sheep, or are there lost, repressed childhood memories buried deep within, which could be triggered unexpectedly and cause it to misbehave, resulting in lawsuits, lost profit and all that?"

Shape-shifting cryptominer savages Linux endpoints and IoT

ThatOne Silver badge

The cryptominer is probably just a stand-in. As the article said, "Shikitega also downloads Mettle, a Metasploit interpreter that gives the attacker the ability to control attached webcams and includes a sniffer, multiple reverse shells, process control, shell command execution and additional abilities to control the affected system".

In short, the real goal here seems to be to be able to remotely control the device, either to extract information or to use as a stepping stone for further attacks.

Dump these small-biz routers, says Cisco, because we won't patch their flawed VPN

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: They may be "cheap" (not so expensive), but...

> You can solve the problem by splitting hardware and software

That would reduce profits, as you would only sell new software. Besides the point of new software is to require some feature your current hardware doesn't have, so you have to buy everything all over again, software + hardware. Like in the past.

ThatOne Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Hard-/Software expiration date

> Hardware and software have a very short lifecycle

Of course you're not supposed to ask the embarrassing question - Why?

It's presented here as an obvious and indisputable truth, but if you think about it there is actually no rational reason: Hardware, no matter how cheap, will easily last a decade or two, and software will last as long as the support it is stored on. Ah yes, bugs. But they aren't supposed to be there, are they. Not the first day and even less several years later.

The only reason for the, attention, not just "short" but "very short" lifecycle is greed.

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: They may be "cheap" (not so expensive), but...

> What about the environmental impact

Environmental impact and profit collide: Which one breaks?

Data tracking poses a 'national security risk' FTC told

ThatOne Silver badge
Facepalm

Hypocrisy at it's best

> "by remembering the tremendous benefits consumers derive from our data driven economy [...]," Crenshaw said."

I don't believe my ears (well, eyes), it's like the drug cartels claiming "the tremendous consumer benefits of their drug driven economy"!...

Yeah well, there are benefits, and they are in their pockets, whereas the wasted, destroyed lives are not their problem, after all nobody forced that junky to overdose, now did he.

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

If you have nothing to hide...

> businesses' data collection and retention practices also aid foreign cyberspies

And I guess the reply of the "$12 billion surveillance-for-hire industry" will be: "somebody please think of the children, and most importantly, our bottom line"...

Seriously, since when does common sense stand any chance against millions and millions of dollars spent in lobbying and backscratching? Think of all the arguments that "surveillance-for-hire industry" can dish out, starting with the terminally corny "think of the children", up to purportedly helping crime fighters (this being the obvious purpose of tracking cookies after all, isn't it).

And of course "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. So -- are you a straight, god-fearing and law-abiding patriot, or some criminal commie pervert?".

The crime against humanity that is the modern OS desktop, and how to kill it

ThatOne Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Microsoft has support.

> People pitching a fit over changes instead of learning to adapt to change and overcome the discomfort.

Lubrication helps with the discomfort, I'm told.

Seriously, you're advocating people should be nice obedient sheep and gratefully accept whatever their Redmond overlords throw at them?

No, Windows isn't a necessity, it's a legacy. I've been using Microsoft products since the original IBM PC, and worked with all the successive versions of Windows (except v.1), up to Win7. When Win8 was released I decided that Windows had gone to far (down the drain) and switched to Linux. I only temporary came back this year because I bought a new laptop, and thus was able/forced to sample the latest Windows. Color me unimpressed. For someone remembering WinXP and it's user-friendliness, Win11 is terminally dumbed down and sloppy, not to mention the frenetic monetization attempts.

Example of the sloppiness: At some point I wanted to create a repair disk, just in case, and after finally finding the well-hidden repair disk program, it asked me "Select a CD/DVD drive and insert a blank disc into the drive". So far so good, except it requires a DVD, but you'll have to try a blank CD to learn it... Would it hurt them to mention it, or simply drop the "CD/" part in the prompt?

(Didn't downvote you though.)

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: A rule of thumb

It's all on their To-Do list. Said features will eventually appear, 2 or 3 versions from now.

Think of it like those huge billboards proudly advertising that the current piece of post-apocalyptic wasteland will soon be a spiffy mall, luxurious condo complex, or some such.

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Agree and disagree

> I rarely have to go more than 2 levels deep and almost never have a menu that needs to scroll.

Depends on how many different programs you use, and how many separate modules each program has (like office suites: LibreOffice for instance is 7 separate modules).

So yes, those who only use an office suite and a browser can brag about having a tidy Start menu, but there is little personal merit in that. Other people will be cursed with several program suites and dozens of small tools, and will have to find a way to nevertheless keep some order in their Start menu.

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Peak Usability

> The old help engine is still there even in Win 11

Sorry but I'll have to disagree: WinHlp32.exe is definitely missing in the Win11 "Home" my laptop came with. Missing as in "not present on the computer".

It might be still there in "Pro", "Enterprise" or "Emperor protector of the Faithful", but in bog-standard "Home" it's definitely gone, and there is no way to get it back except download it from rather suspicious 3rd party links on the Internet.

Yes, I obviously made an Internet search when I discovered the problem, and found all kind of workarounds which all assumed the file was still there, just not installed/activated. It actually isn't there anymore, at least on my version of Win11 Home.

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: "The OS companies have insulated themselves from user pain"

> The Microsoft employee just gave a canned, generic answer and didn't read

To be honest, that's just standard Customer Support procedure worldwide, isn't it. Cut & paste is the only way an untrained intern can handle many hundred support requests a day anyway, and if you look at the numbers, all those request have been replied to, so everything is fine: The Customer Support department is doing an excellent job.

Add to that that many of those annoying customers will get frustrated and won't insist, and the problem is truly solved (Our problem, not theirs. Who cares about them anyway, they have already paid).

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

> the old skool Control Panel we now also had Settings

And you didn't yet discover the third hidden control panel, which only appears on full moons...

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: The desktop should be the cognitive USB-C

Yes, USB is a bad example. I'm trying to keep up, but sometimes I'm slightly lost as to what can connect to what, using which cable. Till recently they all looked different enough, but now there are those "you'll never know why I'm not suited for what you're trying to do" ones.

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Agree and disagree

> What MS removed was the way to easily customize the Start menu.

Yes, back in the good days it was possible (even if many didn't do it) to customize your Start menu and have everything cleanly organized in easy-to-find folders and subfolders, instead of having to scroll through a hundred irrelevant menu entries, or worse, search for something you should know where it is...

Imagine you're needing LibreOffice Writer. Place the mouse cursor on Programs, let it unfold, click on "Office" folder, click on the "LibreOffice" subfolder, click on the "Writer" program icon. 4 small mouse movements and that's it.

Mint has a nice Start menu, although it would be nice if it had another level, as some categories ("Office") get quite crowded, especially since some programs (LibreOffice...) have half a dozen entries all on their own. It would be nice to be able to stuff them all into a "LibreOffice" subfolder to unclutter "Office".

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Peak Usability

> "getting help" became a mess of sources and display formats - including getting random results from Bing.

There is no help in Win11 anymore. Clicking on it always opens a web page (in Edge!) which usually doesn't tell you anything useful, and/or is hopelessly outdated since Microsoft constantly shuffles things around.

Now I wouldn't mind if they hadn't killed the old help engine, breaking some older programs which used it creatively to display tooltips.

WinXP was definitely peak user experience.

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Skeuomorphism

> WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE WIN95-WIN2K DESIGN LANGUAGE?

Too 90ies. To be cool you have to be new and different. Not better, just different. And new.

Marketing has to justify their pay, else the engineers will end up running the place. And to justify their pay they have to prove they're working, doing something, even if it's just shuffling things around: Shuffling things around can justify a good salary if you sugarcoat it nice enough...

ThatOne Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: System 7 - the horror, the horror.

> There were reasons for design decisions, not just “I like the look “.

Today the reasons are "I'm an Artist! You are just too stupid to understand my genius, but one day History will vindicate my choices."

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: It does suck

> personally I have a laptop that folds around into a tablet and turns into a touch screen

How many personal computers out there do that? Very few? Statistically near to none?

This is an edge case, which does indeed require a special configuration, but you don't have to (should not) force that special configuration upon everybody. Most computer users are sitting at their desk in front of 2-3 huge monitors and don't really care about touch and small screen usability.

IMHO "tablet mode" should be a special installation option, if not a special version of the OS. But of course marketing sees it differently, tablets are hip, tablets will take over the world, just wait. Never mind reality, never mind the Trough of Disillusionment, one day my tablet will come.

(If you ever wondered how many here have one of those convertible tablet-laptops, just count the downvotes...)

Scientists pull hydrogen from thin air in promising clean energy move

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Just wondering

That actually exists in S. America, using the morning fog rising from the ocean.

I guess in Sahara the yield would be ridiculous, like half a glass of water for each football-size capture surface. Evaporation due to the dry air would remove half of the water captured as soon as it is captured anyway.

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Storage ? Transport ?

Still, as somebody said further up, the real danger are enclosed spaces, like garages, subterranean parking lots and such, and a majority of people live in densely built areas. Doesn't even need to be a crash, one slowly leaking tank parked there overnight and you can blow up the building.

While I do like the idea of fuel cell cars, I definitely wouldn't like knowing there are dozens of pressurized hydrogen tanks parked under my feet. Remember Murphy's law.

Insurances will make sure there is no way you can park your small Hindenburg in a underground parking lot, or a closed garage, not to mention refueling stations will probably be in the boonies, since nobody would want that anywhere near his home: Hydrogen diffuses much easier and further than liquid fuels, and could travel quite a distance through sewers and such. Yes, most of it will head straight for the skies, but if there is enough to go around, some is bound to come your way and ruin your day.

TL;DR: Hydrogen needs a safe storage system before it goes mainstream and is put in the hands of all the idiots out there.

Microsoft: The deadline to get off Basic Auth is approaching

ThatOne Silver badge
Thumb Up

> the option to 'trust this device'

I see. Thanks for taking the time to explain.

Man wins competition with AI-generated artwork – and some people aren't happy

ThatOne Silver badge
Happy

Re: Understanding my cat

Nah, I have found general parallels, on different cats which had never met and lived in totally different places.

There is clearly a common base they all build upon, but I agree they all differ in active vocabulary, much like humans. Some are quite limited, other very articulate.

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